Coenzyme Q10 — better known as CoQ10 — is a compound your body produces naturally.
It plays many vital roles, such as energy production and protection from oxidative cell damage.
It’s also sold in supplement form to treat various health conditions and ailments.
Depending on the health condition you’re trying to improve or resolve, dosage recommendations for CoQ10 can vary.
This article reviews the best dosages for CoQ10 depending on your needs.
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a fat-soluble antioxidant present in all human cells, with the highest concentration in the mitochondria.
Mitochondria — often referred to as the powerhouses of cells — are specialized structures that produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the main source of energy used by your cells ().
There are two different forms of CoQ10 in your body: ubiquinone and ubiquinol.
Ubiquinone is converted to its active form, ubiquinol, which is then readily absorbed and utilized by your body ().
Aside from being naturally produced by your body, CoQ10 can be obtained through foods including eggs, fatty fish, organ meats, nuts and poultry ().
CoQ10 plays a fundamental role in energy production and acts as a powerful antioxidant, inhibiting free radical generation and preventing cell damage ().
Though your body makes CoQ10, several factors can deplete its levels. For example, the rate of its production significantly declines with age, which is associated with the onset of age-related conditions like heart disease and cognitive decline ().
Other causes of CoQ10 depletion include statin medication use, heart disease, nutrient deficiencies, genetic mutations, oxidative stress and cancer ().
Supplementing with CoQ10 has been shown to counteract damage or improve conditions related to a deficiency in this important compound.
Additionally, as it’s involved in energy production, CoQ10 supplements have been shown to boost athletic performance and decrease inflammation in healthy people who are not necessarily deficient ().
Summary CoQ10 is a compound with many important functions in your body. Various factors can deplete CoQ10 levels, which is why supplements may become necessary.
Though 90–200 mg of CoQ10 per day is typically recommended, needs can vary depending on the person and condition being treated ().
Statin Medication Use
Statins are a group of medications that are used to lower high blood levels of cholesterol or triglycerides to prevent heart disease ().
Though these drugs are generally well tolerated, they can cause adverse side effects, such as serious muscle injury and liver damage.
Statins also interfere with the production of mevalonic acid, which is used to form CoQ10. This has been shown to significantly decrease CoQ10 levels in the blood and muscle tissues ().
Research has shown that supplementing with CoQ10 reduces muscle pain in those taking statin medications.
A study in 50 people taking statin medications found that a dose of 100 mg of CoQ10 per day for 30 days effectively reduced statin-related muscle pain in 75% of patients ().
However, other studies have shown no effect, emphasizing the need for more research on this topic ().
For people taking statin medications, the typical dosage recommendation for CoQ10 is 30–200 mg per day ().
Those with heart conditions, such as heart failure and angina, may benefit from taking a CoQ10 supplement.
A review of 13 studies in people with heart failure found that 100 mg of CoQ10 per day for 12 weeks improved blood flow from the heart ().
Plus, supplementing has been shown to reduce the number of hospital visits and the risk of dying from heart-related issues in individuals with heart failure ().
CoQ10 is also effective in reducing the pain associated with angina, which is chest pain caused by your heart muscle not getting enough oxygen ().
What’s more, the supplement may reduce heart disease risk factors, such as by lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol ().
For people with heart failure or angina, the typical dosage recommendation for CoQ10 is 60–300 mg per day ().
When used alone or in combination with other nutrients, such as magnesium and riboflavin, CoQ10 has been shown to improve migraine symptoms.
It has also been found to ease headaches by reducing oxidative stress and free radical production, which may otherwise trigger migraines.
CoQ10 decreases inflammation in your body and improves mitochondrial function, which helps reduce migraine-associated pain ().
A three-month study in 45 women demonstrated that those treated with 400 mg of CoQ10 per day experienced significant reductions in the frequency, severity and duration of migraines, compared to a placebo group ().
For treating migraines, the typical dosage recommendation for CoQ10 is 300–400 mg per day ().
As mentioned above, CoQ10 levels naturally deplete with age.
Thankfully, supplements can raise your levels of CoQ10 and may even improve your overall quality of life.
Older adults with higher blood levels of CoQ10 tend to be more physically active and have lower levels of oxidative stress, which may help prevent heart disease and cognitive decline ().
CoQ10 supplements have been shown to improve muscle strength, vitality and physical performance in older adults ().
To counteract the age-related depletion of CoQ10, it’s recommended to take 100–200 mg per day ().
Both oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been linked to the onset and progression of diabetes and diabetes-related complications ().
What’s more, those with diabetes may have lower levels of CoQ10, and certain anti-diabetic drugs may further deplete body stores of this important substance ().
Studies show that supplementing with CoQ10 helps reduce the production of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can harm your health if their numbers get too high.
CoQ10 also helps improve insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
A 12-week study in 50 people with diabetes found that those who received 100 mg of CoQ10 per day had significant reductions in blood sugar, markers of oxidative stress and insulin resistance, compared to the control group ().
Doses of 100–300 mg of CoQ10 per day appear to improve diabetes symptoms ().
Oxidative damage is one of the main causes of both male and female infertility by negatively affecting sperm and egg quality (, ).
For example, oxidative stress can cause damage to sperm DNA, potentially resulting in male infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss ().
Research has found that dietary antioxidants — including CoQ10 — may help reduce oxidative stress and improve fertility in both men and women.
Supplementing with 200–300 mg per day of CoQ10 has been shown to improve sperm concentration, density and motility in men with infertility ().
Similarly, these supplements may improve female fertility by stimulating ovarian response and help slow ovarian aging ().
CoQ10 doses of 100–600 mg have been shown to help boost fertility ().
As CoQ10 is involved in the production of energy, it’s a popular supplement amongst athletes and those looking to boost physical performance.
CoQ10 supplements help reduce the inflammation associated with heavy exercise and may even speed recovery ().
A 6-week study in 100 German athletes found that those who supplemented with 300 mg of CoQ10 daily experienced significant improvements in physical performance — measured as power output — compared to a placebo group ().
CoQ10 has also been shown to reduce fatigue and increase muscle power in non-athletes ().
Doses of 300 mg per day appear to be most effective in boosting athletic performance in research studies ().
Summary Dosage recommendations for CoQ10 vary depending on individual needs and goals. Speak with your doctor to determine the right dose for you.
CoQ10 is generally well tolerated, even at extremely high doses of 1,000 mg per day or more ().
However, some people who are sensitive to the compound may experience side effects, such as diarrhea, headache, nausea and skin rashes ().
It should be noted that taking CoQ10 close to bedtime may cause insomnia in some people, so it’s best to take it in the morning or afternoon ().
CoQ10 supplements can interact with some common medications, including blood thinners, antidepressants and chemotherapy drugs. Consult your doctor before taking supplemental CoQ10 (, ).
As it’s fat-soluble, those supplementing with CoQ10 should keep in mind that it’s better absorbed when taken with a meal or snack that contains a fat source.
Additionally, be sure to buy supplements that deliver CoQ10 in the form of ubiquinol, which is the most absorbable ().
Summary Though CoQ10 is generally well tolerated, some people may experience side effects like nausea, diarrhea and headaches, especially if taking high doses. The supplement may also interact with common medications, so speak to your doctor first.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been linked to improved aging, exercise performance, heart health, diabetes, fertility and migraines. It may also counteract adverse effects of statin medications.
Typically, 90–200 mg of CoQ10 per day are recommended, though some conditions may require higher dosages of 300–600 mg.
CoQ10 is a relatively well-tolerated and safe supplement that may benefit a wide variety of people looking for a natural way to boost health.